Review by Maddison Clarke
Me That You See forms a bridge between the characters and readers’ hearts from page one. Freeman’s characters have been written with a careful hand, resulting in a novel that is both insightful and addictive.
Set in the bustling and vibrant city of Melbourne, Me That You See follows 30-year-old protagonist, Lexi, as she navigates the transition from early adulthood into parenthood, all the while dealing with unacknowledged wounds from her childhood.
With a touch of romance and a whole lot of drama, this contemporary women’s fiction novelcaptivated me in a satisfying way. Elusive flashback scenes gave me the tools to piece together the characters’ inner and external worlds, allowing me to have more of an active reading experience.
Strong topical themes are woven into each scene
Me That You See is layered with relevant and interesting themes that reflect our emerging modern society.
There is a sense of shared inner turmoil among the characters relating to suppressed sexual feelings and desires. The story conveys how these feelings can invoke self-loathing and shame and the way this can intertwine with our personal identity.
Every character has their own past suffering that is explored and realised in unexpected ways.
Family lies at the core of the entire story, specifically the way childhood experiences can imbue so much of our adult life.
The protagonist Lexi is a prime example of how difficult it is to locate the roots of suffering until life screams it at you. As a result, she is forced to unmask her past in order to face the scariest thing of all, herself.
Lexi intrigued me from the first page, and I was an avid witness to her tumultuous life. Her character arc was well written, and I felt her emotions like extensions of my own.
Freeman utilises Lexi to comment on the story we tell ourselves, both about our own lives and the lives of others. This ‘story’ makes it easy to embrace parts of ourselves and bury others, seeing only what we wish to, something that’s reflected in the novel’s title, Me That You See.
An empowering story about embracing our greatest wounds
I haven’t had the pleasure of reading many novels of this genre, but as someone who’s recently entered adulthood, it allowed me to reflect on the different stages of life, specifically how core parts of us can either emerge or become lost during these.
There are scenes where Lexi detaches from herself when she looks into the mirror, resulting in her questioning her identity. These moments in particular made me feel understood and seen.
Me That You See is a story of love, empowerment, and the ability to feel comfortable in our own skin, showing us that in the end, we can be the loves of our own lives.